Friday, August 26, 2016

Beware The Bomb-Throwers

Clearly the issue of well contamination in Charlton has resulted in frayed nerves and serious health concerns.

However, the use of this issue as a means of attacking Casella, the operator of the Southbridge landfill, has reached absurd levels.

Foremost to blame for this irresponsible behavior is local “activist” John Pulawski. 

It does no good to attempt to discredit the landfill operator with charges that it is responsible for the well contamination found in wells in Charlton when the current data does not support such a claim.

There are plenty of respects in which Southbridge may feel that it was shortchanged by the existing contract. I know that I feel that way and I felt that way at the time. That is why I sought to rescind the contract and if anyone desires we can relive that issue again in another venue.

What is currently at issue, at least to my mind, is how we deal with the financial consequences to the town from the imminent loss of revenues from the landfill.

I have repeatedly raised this issue and received no substantive answers. I have suggested alternative endeavors to provide alternative sources of revenue and received only silence in return.

But Mr. Pulawski has gone in an entirely different direction. He has repeatedly made assertions that the landfill is the source of well pollution in Charlton. He has asserted that the town is increasingly confronted by legal and financial liabilities resulting from the operation of the landfill by Casella. He has criticized the study by Tighe & Bond, calling it the “silly study” despite the fact that he has repeatedly admitted that he lacks the educational wherewithal to challenge the study.

When confronted with questions regarding the basis for his claims that he makes he cites studies from the CDC that supposedly indict landfills as causes of cancer and respiratory disorders. But, when asked to provide such studies, he can’t (or won’t). Rather he demands that we find them for ourselves. When we admit we can’t find them, he demands $3,000 to provide them. Subsequently he provides another rationale in an instant message to me on Facebook:

Oh, and if I was to give you information about the information discovered on the CDC website, you or someone else might presume correctly who will be an expert witness at the possible Site Assignment Hearings, and you are not entitled to that information.

The only conclusion one can reasonably draw is that the study he cites simply does not exist.

Another tactic he employs is his frequent claims to have the ear of numerous Senators, cabinet officials and foreign dignitaries. Again, when confronted, he provides the names of four Governors, two of whom are dead. He then goes on to tell us that if we contact one of his “references”, former Governor Michael Dukakis, we should remind him that Mr. Pulawski was once responsible for helping to inflate 30,000 balloons for a Florida rally. REALLY? That shows he values your opinion on issues of environmental health?

Below is a video of Mr. Pulawski’s recent appearance at a Town Council of the Whole meeting.  Once he is done complaining about how his opportunity to talk incessantly has been infringed upon, notice how quickly his questions are dispensed with. Nevertheless, Mr. Pulawski feels that, regardless of the science, he can’t accept the report (which, he hasn’t read yet).

Subsequent to this, Councilor Clemence moved to extend the time allowed for additional comments and questions.

Mr. Pulawski then was able to put forward his “ideas” that could reduce the town’s liability and potentially save us millions of dollars. Watch how quickly those delusions are dismissed by the professionals.

It should also be noted that the actions that resulted in the death of trees in the area were delivered by injection rather than by spraying.

But, regardless of the facts, Mr. Pulawski will weigh in at whatever forum is made available with his half-baked ideas, misinformation and baseless nostrums. 

It is time for those who seriously want to deal with this issue to disown this irresponsible bomb-thrower.


  1. I should mention that, in all fairness, I will post comments from Mr. Pulawski and his supporters after I receive a copy of the above mentioned CDC report as well as $10,000.

  2. It's no surprise that there is no love lost between yourself and John and I won't argue your points against him. John and others (myself included) are concerned and sometimes even passionate over the landfill issues with disregard of the revenue issue because money is no assurance for quality of life or environment especially when corporate profit is a driving force. We can't remove the vote of 2007 and we don't have the answer for lost revenue but we do see a chance to stop an expansion of an archaic harmful partnership our Town got itself into and should make every effort to get out of regardless of the money. Help us (and John) instead of defending the landfill Ken, Please

    1. Kevin:
      I’m sorry, but I can’t join you. Where were you or John or the rest when I attempted to rescind the contract? I was left alone to attempt to undo the damage.
      Now you want to close the landfill. Well, it matters that we have been spending far beyond our resources once the landfill money is gone. It most likely would have been otherwise if we had to adjust to a different reality. But, once again, where were you and the others when I attempted to undo this damage before it got underway?
      We have to deal with the financial realities, and you and your colleagues have failed to provide an alternative. The taxpayers are not an endless tap that you can resort to in an effort to undo the profligacy that has gone on for over eight years.
      The reality is that there is no scientific evidence to support the contention that the Casella managed portion of the landfill is the source of any of the current issues. Everything else existed before these arguments and you as well as others are guilty of the acquiescence in the current state of affairs.
      As far as John, he is a source of useless, misleading bombast who is best removed from any concept of serious discussion of this issue.

    2. Ken I just returned home to Florida and this is the first time that I actually read this piece. First off I did correct my self in the blog that John mentioned about spraying herbicide's at the Airport as I said that they injected something that kills the trees and this is done for the safety of aircraft movement and flight. I watched in amazement the conversation during citizens participation and during the additional time that was allowed and all I can say is WOW and I am in agreement with your statement that As far as John, he is a source of useless, misleading bombast who is best removed from any concept of serious discussion of this issue. Thanks and have a good one

    3. George you are a total buzz bird you crepe. Please respond with your own words and not Ken's you bum.

    4. Well I might be a bum but I am not a coward I sign my name If I say it I'll sign it


All comments subject to moderation. All commenters must use their own name or a screen name. No comments labelled as "Anonymous" will be published. To use your name or a screen name select "Name/URL" from the drop down menu. Insert you name in the "Name" space and leave the "URL" space blank.